For well over a century the Sherpa have lived in small towns and villages in Nepal high in the Himalayas, adapting to the high-altitudes, honing their mountaineering skills and learning every climactic and geographic idiosyncrasy Mt. Everest has to offer. Explorers and adventurers alike seeking to conquer Mt. Everest have relied on the unrivaled skills, knowledge and experience of the Sherpa to guide them to the summit.
For those seeking performance apparel worthy of the Sherpa, look no further. Sherpa Adventure Gear is harnessing the same Sherpa expertise to design and test their line of performance apparel. With the Vajra ultra-lightweight jacket, Sherpa Adventure Gear hopes to bring a little adventure to the rest of us.
Knowing that Sherpa Adventure Gear works closely with the Sherpa to craft their performance apparel, there was a definitive excitement at the Gumption Gear HQ when we were presented with the opportunity to test the Vajra jacket (technically known as the Vajra 60 GSM Jacket).
While we didn’t test the Vajra on the streets of Nepal in the shadows of the Himalayas, our gear guru put this Sherpa-inspired jacket through its paces in the surrounding mountains, hills and urban jungles of northern California.
On Fit and Performance…
The Vajra is an ultra-lightweight full zip jacket that is as beautiful in form and design as it is in performance and protection. So whether the mercury has gone into hiding, or you need to travel light with a stand-alone jacket to fend off the nip in the air, the Vajra offers maximum warmth in a minimalist design.
The design team at Sherpa Adventure Gear have also given the Vajra a stellar spot-on fit. Around the neck, shoulders and torso, the jacket fit as though it was custom made for our medium-build, medium height tester. Despite this form fitting design, the Vajra did not bind through the shoulders and chest ensuring the ability to move freely during any type of activity.
Protection from the elements starts with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating gives the ultra-light, 100% ripstop polyester shell its water shunning ability. Coupled with a stretchy LYCRA® fiber binding at cuffs, the Vajra does a tremendous job of keeping Mother Nature’s nasty side where it belongs, outside.
The Varja jacket surrounds you with PrimaLoft insulation so your heat remains close ensuring you can comfortably complete epically frigid treks home from town or through a lonely snow-covered forest.
According to Primaloft, their insulation is 24% warmer and absorbs 3 times less water than its closest rival – so if the weatherman was wrong, that surprise rain won’t bog you down and wreck your day.
Primaloft filling also ensures that the jacket is highly compressible, so toss it on for chilly morning drives to the trailhead, then stuff it into the corner of your pack when you get down to business and the temperature starts to rise.
And, for those of us who are conscious about their purchasing decisions, Sherpa Adventure Gear sets aside a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their products to benefit the health, education and welfare of underprivileged Sherpa children.
Bottom Line …
The Vajra exemplifies the simple and functional utility of the Sherpa. Equally at home living along the base of the Himalayan mountains range or walking through your local farmers market on a cool morning, the Vajra offers impeccable craftsmanship and performance that would make even the toughest Sherpa proud. It’s a piece of equipment we highly recommend. Gumption tested, Gumption approved.
Sherpa Aventure Gear (www.sherpaadventuregear.com) Available in Men’s S-XXL 404 g. (14.3 oz.) & Women XS- XL 308 g. (10.9 oz.); Retail $145.